It’s not the growing number of empty blue seats in First Niagara Center that serve as a telltale sign of the disappointing Buffalo Sabres’ season.
All one has to do is look at the online asking price of tickets for the team’s final, regular season game — Friday night against the New York Islanders. In some cases, including StubHub, tickets can be had for as little as $19 and not just upper-level 300 section seats. It was 100 level seats that have a ticket window price of $66.
And, for scalpers, it’s even worse.
Calvin Johnson, a veteran scalper, said business this season - or, for at least the last month, has been “... expletive.”
“I can’t even giveaway tickets tonight,” he said while standing at the sun-drenched corner of Washington and Scott streets less than one hour before the Sabres-Winnipeg Jets face-off.
The Sabres lost their penultimate regular season home game, 2-1, before an “announced” crowd of 18,654, although there were large sections of empty seats through-out the arena.
“I need more Bon Jovi and (Bob) Seger concerts,” Johnson said.
Johnson thought the prospect of a Canadian-based team, Winnipeg, might drive some business his way.
But, it didn’t turn out that way.
He had a healthy stack of tickets and few, if any buyers.
“What are you going do?,” Johnson said. “They’ll be back. And, so will I.”